This archived article was written by: Marcelo Ruediger
Phillip Winston was born in Tacoma, Wash., and was raised by both parents in a home with three older brothers. Like many kids in America, he was raised in a tough neighborhood and throughout his life, he had to make several decisions to keep going on the right path to reach his dreams.
Winston’s father, Andre, was responsible for the passion created in his four children for basketball since their early years. Andre a was former collegiate (Salt Lake Community College) and professional basketball player who played overseas in Indonesia. Winston’s father was always involving he and his brothers with the sport. He was only 3 when he started to play basketball with his brothers, father and friends.
Growing up, basketball was always part of Winston’s life and he loved to compete against his older brothers. “It was all about winning and never losing to them because if I ever lost, they would always throw it in my face and make jokes of me. As I look back, that was how I improved as a basketball player,” Winston said.
He had many friends who chose the easier, but wrong, way to go. In his neighborhood, Winston saw many of the friends he grew up with become drug dealers and go to jail as they got older.
“I thought I would either work hard on the basketball court to see more of the great outdoors or to not work hard and maybe end up like many of my friends,” Winston stated. Both of his parents are religious and his father is a pastor. Winston believes that religion played a huge role in keeping him off the streets and helping him to make the right choices in his life.
Recruited out of Clover Park High School, Winston decided to join the Utah State University Eastern’s men’s basketball team because he thought it would be a great opportunity to play at a high level considering that the Golden Eagles play in one of the nation’s top-three conferences in junior college. He also liked the coaches and trusted them. He thought they could help him to get better and make it to NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball program.
“I believe if I keep working hard every day, doing the right things and making the best out of every opportunity that comes, I will reach my dreams and be able to play professional basketball,” Winston said.
As a freshman this year, Winston was the starting point guard for the Eagles and was a crucial part of the team. He will be back next year to try to win the conference and lead his team to nationals. He really believes that with the other returning freshman and new recruits, the Golden Eagles will have the talent and the right team to do great next season.